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The BMI Awards red carpet was alive with the energy of anticipation last night as two figures were honored for their songwriting prowess— 74-year-old songwriter and production wizard Billy Sherrill and 20-year-old songwriting wunderkind Taylor Swift.
Country Weekly caught up with several artists on the BMI red carpet. Josh Turner was proud to see Billy Sherrill named a BMI Icon. "He's laid a great foundation in this town and I think it is great that they are honoring him," Josh said.
The difference in age and musical style between Billy and Taylor further highlight the far-flung range of music that currently rests under the country music umbrella. For Sugarland’s Kristian Bush, the cyclical change in country music’s sound is nothing new. "People love music. Let them hear it. Country music one of the most healthy genres that exists. I think that one of the reasons it is so healthy is that every number of years, it stretches,” Kristian said. “I think that when Waylon Jennings came out, everybody freaked out that it wasn't Patsy Cline. I think that people kept repeatedly freaking out through the years when somebody . . . you know, Johnny Cash started singing spirituals and everybody lost their minds and freaked out. No other genre has been able to hold so many differences the way country can. It's beautiful."
Blake Shelton, who is nominated for four Country Music Association Awards, has had quite a year, including hits song, his induction into the Grand Ole Opry and an engagement to fellow country singer Miranda Lambert. Could there be anything that would make his year even better? "Yes, I still haven't killed a big deer yet this year,” he said. “Killing a big buck would be not only icing on the cake, but it would be those little letters that you could eat on top of the icing on the cake."
Meanwhile, Blake’s fiancée, Miranda, was excited to give credit to those who have penned the year's biggest songs. "Songwriting is what gets the whole ball rolling," she said. "This night is all about the songwriters, and I'm happy to honor them." The nine-time CMA Award nominee was more coy when it came to revealing details of what she would wear on the red carpet at the CMA Awards this evening. "It's a surprise," she said with a laugh.
Newcomer Easton Corbin is nominated for Single of the Year and New Artist of the Year at tonight’s CMA Awards, and seemed happy to just be near some of his favorite artists and songwriters during the BMI Awards. "It's great, just taking in this experience and seeing guys that you've heard of all your life. I love a lot of the artists here. Just to be around all of this, it's a little overwhelming."
Easton’s got some loud plans if he takes home a CMA trophy tonight. "I'm gonna jump up and down, you know, and holler a little bit. We'll see what's going on."